Maryam Ebrahimi

Maryam Ebrahimi
Fax: +1 (450) 929-8102

I graduated for my B.Sc. in Pure Chemistry from the University of Tehran, and M.Sc. in Analytical Chemistry from Bahonar University of Kerman, both in Iran. Afterwards, I continued my education at the University of Waterloo, where I completed my PhD in Physical Chemistry in the area of surface science in 2009. My research was focused on the reactions of several organic molecules with Si(100)-2×1 and Si(111)-7×7 as the foundation for making materials for molecular electronics.

I continued my research as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the prominent group of Nobel Laureate Professor John C. Polanyi at the University of Toronto. In Polanyi’s laboratory, I studied the kinetics and reaction dynamics of hydrogen halides and haloalkanes on Si(100)-2×1 and Si(111)-7×7. My research was inspired by the nature of the molecules and surface, and the applied conditions to build “bottom-up” nanostructured materials − containing atomic and molecular pattern with well-defined electronic properties.

In 2011, I joined the University of California at Riverside, as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar, where I worked on the kinetics of the catalytic hydrogenation of hydrocarbons on platinum surface. By bridging the “pressure gap” between ultra-high vacuum (UHV) and high-pressure chemistry, I achieved the very first steady-state catalytic reactions with high reaction yield inside UHV. This study provides a fundamental platform to understand the mechanism of the reactions in “real” catalysis in comparison with “model” studies.

In my current position as a Research Associate at INRS, I supervise the surface science subgroup of Professor Federico Rosei. The motivation of our research is to design and form two-dimensional (2D) materials for various applications. Our research is based on the molecular level understanding of surface phenomena to make self-assembled molecular networks (SAMNs), covalent organic frameworks (COFs), or 2D conjugated polymers on different surfaces such as Au(111), Ag(111), Cu(111), and HOPG. We use Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), and other surface characterization techniques, together with Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations to provide a molecular level understanding of the interactions and reactions at surfaces.

A very short description of our projects is:

  • Two-dimensional (2D) conjugated polymers on metal surfaces: The growing interest in nanostructured materials stems from the remarkable effects arising from dimension reduction. As the only 2D conjugated material, graphene has unique properties such as high charge mobility; however, its zero band gap limits its applications in electronics. On the other hand, the flexibility of organic synthesis offers a broad playground to create organic analogues of graphene with high charge mobility and tunable band gap. Therefore, 2D p-conjugated polymers are good candidates to make “bottom-up” materials for smaller and faster transistors and organic electronic devices.
  • Self-assembled molecular networks (SAMNs): The interactions between molecule and substrate in addition to intermolecular interactions including van der Waals interactions and hydrogen bonding altogether is driving force for the formation of surface confined SAMNs.
  • Covalent Organic Framework (COF) for Host/Guest material: These materials might find useful for host/guest architectures because they provide a novel route towards porous materials for applications in molecular recognition, catalysis, gas storage and separation.